I recently started reading Happier at Home, and the first chapter deals with possessions. (Gretchen Rubin is always dealing with her possessions ) For a while now, I've been trying to figure out why I dread using the laptop in the office, and I had the suspicion that it had more to do with me than the machine (the laptop works just fine). There's something about our office that just doesn't feel homey to me (I realize it's the office), but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Then, two weeks ago, Captain America and I moved the expensive, gorgeous chair we keep in the office into the living room, and the significantly cheaper Ikea loveseat into the office. (I had read somewhere that there was value in rearranging your belongings...something about being cheaper than redecorating, and that just moving them around stimulates that "something new" part of your brain. Or something along those lines.)
Anyway, we finally concluded that part of the problem with the office is that it feels cluttered, at least to me. (I'm sure most people would walk in and think it was uncluttered. This is my house, after all.) We decided that what we had was really the wrong furniture for the room. For instance, the drawer-unit on which we store the printer? I NEVER open it, if I can avoid it. As far as I'm concerned it is a cluttered mess and contains nothing useful. Ironically, this is also my husband's set of drawers. Apparently his organizational nemesis is office supplies.
Also, we have a bookshelf in this room that can only store large books because it has open sides. I bought this bookshelf because I liked how easily it folded up, which was a useful characteristic in my twenties when I lived in apartments with roommates, but it's really no longer useful, or at least not as useful as it should be (case in point, we have a much larger bookshelf in the guest room that looks a lot more chaotic, but doesn't feel more chaotic, mostly because everything fits in it just fine, and we can adjust the shelf heights).
So today, we went looking for a more useful bookshelf/storage option for the office. Which was a total bust. I've discovered that what I thought I wanted is called barrister bookshelves (my mother has some in her house, and I like how they close up), but they are ridiculously expensive, and work in my mother's house because she lives in a Victorian confection, but we live in a cookie-cutter 1950's era I-don't-even-know-what you'd call it.
What I'm somehow hoping to find is a low-ish, long-ish bookshelf that has some doors on it, so I can hide the unsightly office crap I'll have to put in it, but will still let me display the books. But everything we've found that is practically priced is way too tall for the space we have in mind.
And we now have six green chairs in the dining room and living room. That's a little bizarre, but we're going to work through that some time in the future.